Genevieve Odamtten

Research themes
  • Governance
  • Mobility and migration
  • Global development and trade
  • Food and nutrition
Research countries
  • Ghana
Research projects

My current project studies the phenomenon of international migration among youth farmers and farmworkers from rural agricultural regions in the middle belt of Ghana to rural farming areas in southern Italy.

Thousands of West African migrants are engaged as temporary farmworkers in Italy's southern agriculture regions, particularly in its tomato farming sector. Of these West African migrants, are Ghanaian ex-farmers and farmhands originating mainly from the middle belt agricultural regions of Ghana. In Italy, they often settle in the Foggia Province in the Puglia Region and around the Campania Plains of the Campania Region where they offer their services as temporary farm labour in rural farming areas, often on tomato farms. And in Ghana’s middle belt, they usually originate from the tomato farming sectors in the Techiman Traditional Area (Techiman Municipality and Techiman North District) of the Bono East Region, and Akumadan in the Offinso North District, Ashanti Region.

This research seeks to study the underlying factors influencing this form of labour migration, that is, extra-continental farm labour migration occurring from one tomato farming sector in Ghana’s middle belt to another tomato farm sector in Italy’s southern rural regions. The research focuses keenly on movements from Techiman Traditional Area (Bono East Region) to Foggia Province (Puglia Region) – which are both pivotal tomato-producing regions as well as major farm labour migration origination and destination hubs in the respective countries. The research also interrogates the factors that influence this type of migration as well as the effects of farm labour migration on both the origin and host rural communities and economies, the migrants themselves and their families.

Literature probing farm labour migration from West Africa to rural southern Italy usually emphasise issues of precarity, abuse and discrimination of temporary farmworkers. However, this study goes further into not only discussing the working and living conditions of the temporary farmworkers, but also the macro, meso and micro factors that motivate them to migrate in the first place. It probes, therefore, the economic, political, and socio-cultural factors that influence farm labour migration from Techiman Traditional Area to Foggia Province.

To this end, I pursue three key objectives in this study, namely:

1. to explain production, trade and labour issues pertaining to Ghana and Italy's tomato farming sectors;

2. to explore the causal factors underlying labour migration from Ghana's to Italy's tomato farming sectors; and

3. examine and analyse the effect on migrants, their families, and the rural origin and host communities. 

This project is expected to be finally completed in Autumn 2023.

Working groups

Migrant Transnationalism Standing Committee, IMISCOE

Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research SC, IMISCOE


Additional information


Master of European Studies

University of Bonn, Germany


B. A. (Hons) Economics and Geography & Resource Development

University of Ghana




International labour migration || Temporary agricultural workers || Rural economies || Social exclusion and inclusion || ECOWAS region || EU external policies (migration and trade)

Thesis title

Migration and agriculture: Youth Out-migration from the Tomato Farm Sector in the Bono East Region of Ghana to the Puglia Region of Italy

Doctoral research funded by

Katholischer Akademischer Ausländer-Dienst (KAAD)

Supervisors of
doctoral work

PD Dr. Eva Youkhana, Acting Director, Department of Political and Cultural Change, ZEF, University of Bonn




André Bueno Rezendede Castro; Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval; Genevieve Odamtten.  2022.  Up around the bend? How transport poverty can lead to social exclusion in a low-income community in Lagos, Nigeria.  Journal of Transport Geography, June 2022, 103388 (Volume 102)   . Further Information

Additionals, Curriculum Vitae
and Downloads

Junior Researcher

Cultural and Political Change


Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies

Diese Website verwendet Cookies – nähere Informationen dazu und zu Ihren Rechten als Benutzer finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung am Ende der Seite. Klicken Sie auf „Ich stimme zu“, um Cookies zu akzeptieren und direkt unsere Website besuchen zu können.
Read more